UCL School of Pharmacy


Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

The UCL CEPIP course is an integrated clinically enhanced pharmacist independent prescribing course which has been developed by pharmacists for pharmacists.

Successful completion of this course leads to the professional award of Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing, enabling pharmacists to apply for annotation of their name on the register as an Independent Prescriber. This course is fully accredited by the GPhC.

This Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing (CEPIP) Course can be studied as a stand-alone course leading to the academic award of PG Certificate in General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing). It can also be studied as an optional module for the Foundation Stage 2 of the UCL PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice leading to the academic award of PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing).

About the CEPIP course

UCL School of Pharmacy has a long established tradition of supporting and facilitating the training and development of practicing pharmacists. Independent prescribing is becoming an integrated feature of health service delivery in both primary and secondary care, allowing pharmacists and other health care professionals able to qualify as non-medical prescribers to benefit both patient care and service delivery.

We have developed this prescribing course through consultation with key stakeholders, including service providers, clinical practitioners and pharmacist independent prescribers, to meet the needs of pharmacists wishing to train as non-medical prescribers in primary or secondary care. The course is specifically designed to meet the needs of pharmacist prescribers working in medicines optimisation, GP practice, Urgent and Emergency Care and provision of NHS 111 services and care homes.

The UCL CEPIP course has been developed from the outset as an integrated clinically enhanced pharmacist independent prescribing course. ‘Clinically enhanced’ refers to the additional skills that you will acquire around history taking and physical examination as part of the UCL independent prescribing course. This element has been included to enable you to clinically assess patients using focused medical history taking and physical examination skills whilst having an awareness of additional tests and referral pathways to aid in diagnosis. The course will also enable you to safety-net patients and manage risk.

The overall aim of the CEPIP course is to enable pharmacists to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to undertake safe, appropriate and cost-effective independent prescribing in partnership with patients, carers and members of the multi-professional team. Pharmacists will develop a critical understanding of: systematic approaches to clinical assessment, diagnosis, and making prescribing decisions within their scope of practice; the use of evidence-based information to guide prescribing decisions within a clinical governance framework; and, the legal, ethical and professional issues related to prescribing practice. Within the course they will gain practical experience in diagnostics and both mental and physical health assessment.

The course design and assessment strategy are closely aligned to ensure that pharmacists fulfil GPhC requirements to qualify as an Independent Prescriber, attain academic and professional skills to provide excellent clinical care, and continue to develop in their future career.


Key information

Programme Entry points (2021/22)
October 2021
April 2022

Mode and duration
This is a part-time course, that can be completed in 6, 9 or 12 months. The University based elements of the course take place over six months, but the supervised learning in practice can be studied up to 12 months, depending on the pharmacists individual learning needs in the workplace. 

Tuition Fee (2021/22 academic year)

Application dates
For October 2021:
Applications open 1st June 2021 and close on 19th July 2021 at midday.

For April 2022:
Applications open on 6th December 2021 and close on 17th January 2022 at midday.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the course are stipulated by the GPhC. Pharmacists wishing to apply for this course must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. Be a pharmacist registered with the GPhC or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  2. Be in good standing with the GPhC and/or PSNI and any other healthcare regulator with which they are registered
  3. Have at least two years’ appropriate patient-orientated experience post-registration in a relevant UK practice setting
  4. Have identified an area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice.
  5. Have relevant clinical or therapeutic experience in their chosen area, which is suitable to act as the foundation of their prescribing practice training
  6. Have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) who has agreed to supervise their learning in practice and who meets the criteria for acting as a DPP (Please see the DPP guidance for details of the eligibility criteria for DPPs).

To be accepted onto the course, the information that you are asked to provide in the application pack must demonstrate that you meet the criteria described above.

English language requirements

Applicants must be registered pharmacists with the GPhC or PSNI and so must be able to meet the professional standards of the relevant professional body relating to communication.

International students

Applicants must be registered pharmacists with the GPhC or PSNI and have patient orientated experience in the UK. The learning in practice element of the course must be undertaken in the UK under the supervision of a Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP) who meets the criteria for acting as a DPP.

Computer requirements

You must have access to a computer with fast and reliable internet connection. There is a minimum level of computer skills required, including the ability to:
•    Navigate the Moodle virtual learning environment to locate teaching and learning materials and to access and submit assessments (with initial basic training)
•    Communicate by email
•    Work efficiently with Microsoft Word or similar word processing software
•    Use the internet to search websites
•    Scan and upload documents
•    Navigate the e-portfolio system
•    Participate in online conferencing (webinars).

Indemnity insurance

Pharmacists are advised to check with their employer and/or their personal insurer before they begin that they are fully covered in their role as a TIP and a future role as a qualified independent and supplementary prescriber.


The programme draws on a range of assessment methods which address knowledge, competence and performance, using the following approaches:

  • Case studies
  • Critical Reflection
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Portfolio including practice based assessments

Pharmacists must pass each element of assessment in order to pass the course.

Study dates

For the course commencing in October 2021

  • Wednesday 13th October 2021
  • Wednesday 20th October 2021
  • Wednesday 3rd November 2021
  • Wednesday 17th November 2021
  • Wednesday 1st December 2021
  • Wednesday 8th December 2021
  • Wednesday 12th January 2022
  • Monday 24th January 2022 OR Wednesday 26th January 2022
  • Monday 7th March 2022 OR Wednesday 9th March 2022

Please note that these dates may be subject to change.

For the course commencing in April 2022

  • Wednesday 27th April 2022
  • Wednesday 11th May 2022
  • Wednesday 25th May 2022
  • Wednesday 8th June 2022
  • Wednesday 22nd June 2022
  • Wednesday 29th June 2022
  • Wednesday 13th July 2022
  • Wednesday 20th July 2022
  • Wednesday 14th September 2022


Teaching and learning

The course constitutes a range of learning activities equivalent to 600 hours study in total (as required for a 60-credit course). Students are supported through a blend of learning activities utilising a bespoke on-line learning package, face-to-face learning sessions and work-based learning (the learning in practice time). There is also a strong emphasis on student led learning and individual study. In all learning activities, the emphasis is on the student putting their learning into practice and reflecting on their development. 

Students must have identified an area of clinical or therapeutic practice in which to develop independent prescribing practice. They are required to undertake a minimum of 90 hours learning in practice under the supervision of a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP), learning to prescribe in their chosen area of practice. A DPP is a workplace-based supervisor who supports the student in the learning in practice time. Each student must have one named DPP to support them in their learning in practice time and who takes the primary responsibility for supervision. The learning in practice time must take place in a clinical setting appropriate to the student’s chosen area of practice and must involve interaction with patients. 

The course can be completed in 6, 9 or 12 months. This provides flexibility for the differing needs and differing levels of experience. The University based elements of the course take place over the first six months but the supervised learning in practice can be studied up to 9 or 12 months depending on the student’s individual learning needs. The completion date is agreed between the student, the DPP and the Course Team. 

For those who complete in 9 or 12 months, at least 30 hours of supervised learning in practice time must take place in the last 6 months of the course. 

The breakdown of overall study time is provided in Table 1 (see below). The average weekly hours are based on completing the course in 6 months. For students completing in 9 or 12 months, the weekly total will be reduced as the learning in practice time, self-directed learning and completion of portfolio and course assessments are spread out over a longer period. 

Study days take place over the first 5 months of the course. In the weeks where there are study days the amount of time spent in other aspects of the course will be reduced and vice versa. Attendance at the study days is compulsory.

Table 1 showing Overview of Student Effort
How to apply

Applications are made by completing both an online application form AND the application pack.

The online application form for the PG Cert General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing) will be posted here when applications for April 2022 open.

The application pack can be downloaded here:

Both the online application form AND the application pack must be completed in full and submitted by the relevant application deadline.  Applications with missing/incomplete information will not be considered.

Further guidance for applicants and DPPs can be found in the 'Application Guidance' section at the bottom of this page.

The application pack requires references and signed forms from both the employing/supporting organisation and the DPP. Please ensure that you have provided your DPP with the DPP guidance to help them to complete their section of the application pack.

Applicants should allow plenty of time to complete this pack prior to the application deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. 

The application process is as follows:

  • Complete the online application form when it goes live (see link above).
  • When making your application, please ensure you upload the application pack under the 'Upload Additional information' section as ONE single document. There is no need to e-mail the application pack to the admin team.
  • Files cannot exceed 2MB in size – larger documents will need to be split into smaller documents before uploading. Applicants are advised to complete the application pack electronically as much as possible and only upload scans of relevant signature pages where necessary to keep file sizes down. There is no limit to the number of files that can be uploaded. Valid file extensions are: JPG, PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PNG, GIF, MSG or TXT. Please note that ZIP files cannot be uploaded.

UCL Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice practitioners

Practitioners currently enrolled on the UCL Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice programme who are looking to complete the CEPIP course as the Foundation Stage Two part of their Diploma DO NOT need to complete the online application form. Their application pack and supporting evidence should be emailed to sop.cepip@ucl.ac.uk by the application deadline.


Applications are assessed against the entry criteria. Where there are areas of uncertainty applicants will be invited to attend an interview held via video conferencing software. The interview will be carried out by two members of the course team and will focus on seeking clarification of the areas of uncertainty within the application for the applicant to demonstrate that they meet the entry requirements.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application within 6-8 weeks of the application deadline. 

Application guidance